It is understood by all that the beautiful lush and perfectly manicured golf course greens are kept that way by the use of chemicals, lots and lots of chemicals for that matter. Which chemicals to use are up to golf courses and can be different state to state. The East coast by far has the highest percentage of pesticide use.
In a study done by the EPA in 1982 shown that 9 pounds per acre per year of chemicals were used on a New York golf course. Reports have shown chemical use as low as 500 pounds of chemicals used per year and as high as 1500 to 2300 pounds of chemicals per year. That is astounding considering the fact that we balk over agriculture using less than a pound of chemicals on our food per square acre.
Here are a list of common chemicals used on golf courses and their potential health effects:
Chlorothalonil – can cause blurred vision, redness of eyes and skin, abdominal pain, burning sensation
Mecoprop – burning skin and eyes, nausea, dizziness and headaches
MSMA – toxic hepatitis
Ipodione – unknown at this time
Thiram – toxic to the nervous system
Diazinon – affects red blood cells, inhibits brain function and the nervous system
Benomylcauses – low birth weight
Benfluralin – decrements red blood cell count and hemoglobin concentration
Chlorpyrifos – impairs nervous system function
Dicamba – toxic to a fetus
Diquat – causes cataracts
Disulfoton – impairs nervous system function and causes optic nerve degeneration
Pendamenthalin – is toxic to the liver
Propoxur – impairs nervous system function
Thiophante-menthyl – decrements sperm formation and can cause hypothyroidism
Triadimefon – decrees red blood cell count
Parraffin oil – unknown at this time
Pentachlorophenol – damages the liver, thyroid and immune system, can cause high fevers and difficulty breathing
EDB – cancer, nerve damage and sterility in humans
DCPA – increases the weight of kidneys (in men), increases weight of adrenal glands (in women), excessive growth of thyroid, abnormalities of the liver
Maneb – cough, sore throat, redness and pain
and a host of other chemicals.
With golf courses not being required to tell you when they are spraying, you can unwittingly be walking on and inhaling these chemicals. There have been many deaths to wild life near golf courses including one of the worst at a New York golf course where some fairways had just been tated with diazinon. A large number of Geese came down to feed and over a three day period a total of 545 geese had perished.
Bottom line is this, it is known that these chemicals affect our health, but there are steps we can take to be a lot more effective reducing the dangers of any over exposure one might encounter.
When you want to play golf, find out when they are going to spray chemicals and avoid playing for a couple of days afterwards to reduce exposure.
Eat healthy! There are foods that help to detox the body such as fruit, salad greens, sprouts, all vegetables (except asparagus, sauerkraut, chick peas and brussel sprouts), good fats such as olive or flaxseed oil and herbal teas.
Ionic foot baths are great for detoxing and generally feeling better. Many health practitioners, spas and salons are offering this service. Some people buy their own units for ease of use at home for themselves and their families.
Studies on ionic foot baths show that an overall balancing effect and a significant increase in the number of negative ions can assist one in detoxing the body. The ionic technique of cleansing through feet provides a body purge of all vital organs, resulting in improved health.
Also, sweating in a sauna or hot bath helps to detox.
Various herbs and juices can also assist in cleansing the body of toxins. Check your local health food store or naturopath for advice.
If you love golf and want to play, you can reduce the harmful effects of the chemicals they use and just enjoy yourself!
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does not claim to diagnose, treat or cure anything. Consult your local health care provider for diagnoses and treatment.
(Source: Oral Reference Doses, Integrated Risk Information, US EPA 1991) (ICPS International Program on Chemical Safety)